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ERIC Number: EJ1114487
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Apr
Pages: 7
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0036-8148
Making and Recording Observations: When Done Well, Observations Can Serve as Evidence When Engaging in Science Practices
Arias, Anna Maria; Davis, Elizabeth A.
Science and Children, v53 n8 p54-60 Apr 2016
Making and recording scientific observations is a fundamental activity of the scientific community. Scientists use their senses and tools (e.g., magnifying glasses, rulers, colored pencils) to make records of the phenomena (e.g., light energy, ecosystems) they are investigating. These observations often serve as evidence in the scientific arguments, explanations, and theories of the field. Elementary children are certainly capable of learning to make and record scientific observations that can serve as evidence (NRC 2007). Making and recording observations is part of the work needed to engage in science practices, such as conducting investigations, constructing explanations, and making scientific arguments. Like scientists, students engage in these science practices to learn about the disciplinary core ideas and crosscutting concepts as called for by the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) (NGSS Lead States 2013). However, it is easy to underestimate the complexity of making and recording both drawn and written scientific observation and the kinds of help children need to engage in this practice (Eberbach and Crowley 2009). In this article, the authors outline some of the features of scientific observations and describe a rubric for supporting elementary children in making and recording these observations during science class. They describe how a teacher might adapt this rubric across content areas (life science, physical science, and Earth science), types of observations (drawn, written, qualitative, or quantitative), and units of study.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Guides - Classroom - Teacher; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Education
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A